Is it odd that I thought of writing this piece while leading an organized cheating syndicate at University of Zoom that everyone goes to nowadays?
Aside from me talking about cheating it was a moment of salvation, forget about remote working or distance learning I want my work to bear meanings after this outbreak.
Have you ever examined your academic tasks? I did sometimes and some other times I only took them with face value.
Long before my ramblings about how in a thousand different ways that education systems sucks. Scholar Ivan Illıch and a couple of others wrote about this so that any visionary PhD can go out of their way in class and give talks about how we prioritise memorization how school system didn't really changed much despite all the shiny new tech
Take one of my economics courses as examples the focus is on the ‘facts’ there is a set of facts to memorize in correct order in order to get the possible highest grade and everyone get the praise for just doing that. The ‘facts’ are the elements of importance not practicality.
Lets rewrite the tract in the light of covid-19 with coronavirus facts are easier to be found, easier to be summarized and easier to present as it is. This is not an open book exam type of situation mind you you can't examine students
All that matters in biological and sociological evolution is your capacity to process meaningful information. That was the most precise thing that humans had in terms of firm organizational skills which makes sense considering the size and physical capabilities of a single human rarely does app up to something in nature. However humans found the light in keeping together.
When you battle with an appearent lack of sleep and motivation, although you still go to the first versions of mass schools in a smokey British town circa the industrial revolution. Or aiming to crush soviet competition with trying to nurture the best minds possible on STEM fields around Cold War memorisation would have been made total sense. Because the knowledge itself was scarce and important.
Is it so nowadays though? Or we are just sticking to testing knowledge because no other ways has been tested or has been tested and practiced rather lousily? Like taking students to do more and more homeworks.
Nowadays knowledge is really far from being scarce but we mostly find it disorganized, polarized and monetized. Knowing pre-loaded set of facts rarely contributes something meaningful above the ceilings of undergrad classes.
Can we keep a system based on fact memorization after Covid? We really shouldn't! The struggles of academia to mass-test undergrads is a relic of other interconnected systems such as academic reputation and alumni employability which has nothing to do with the core part of teaching and cultivating the outcomes.
Let this be a initiator to convert ourself to skill based testing.